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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  June 27, 2014 12:00am-1:01am EDT

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>> rose: welcome to the program. we again then with the supreme court and recent decisions, a conversation with adam liptakcot reporter for the "new york times." >> most people thought area was likely to lose. most people thought, the justices thought that their service was too clever by half. what area does is put little miniature antennas in brooklyn and other places in other cities, and assign you your own antenna and streams over the internet live broadcast television. and six just advertises said that's not going to work. that is basically theft, that's not acceptable under the copy write laws. the three dissenting justices didn't really disagree for the most part. >> rose: we continue our conversationcourt with laurences new book is called the uncertain
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justice, the roberts court and the constitution. >> you can begin to see not in the standard divisions of five to four but the under currents, the important trends in the court about privacy, about race, about gender, about sexual orientation, about the way we lead our lives. and i thought it was time to make those things more understandable for a general audience, not just for specialists. and to get beyond the kind of simplified stereotypes of right versus left because that's not where it's really at. >> rose: we conclude this evening with a new documentary about mike meyers, the actor and comedian. it is about shep gordon who also joins us. the film is called supermensch. >> there are people in the world that need to protect inhibition. because the hollywood system and all that stuff is a great system, make fantastic movies, envy of the world, you know.
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if rome ruled the world with flanx. it requires people like shep to protect it. >> laurence tribe, mike meyers and shep gordon, next. >> there's a saying around here: you stand behind what you say. around here, we don't make excuses, we make commitments. and when you can't live up to them, you own up and make it right.
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some people think the ki of accountability that thrives on so many streets in this country has gone missing in the places where it's needed most. but i know you'll still find it, when you know where to look. >> rose: additional funding provided by: >> and by bloomberg. a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. : the supreme court issued several much anticipated rulings this week. those decisions affect everything from how we watch television to when the police can search your cell phone. joining us from washington to talk about the high court's ruling is adam liptak. he's a supreme court correspondent for the "new york times." welcome. characterize -- >> hi charlie. >> rose: characterize this day and these decisions.
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>> on one level the supreme court confronted too big technological issues and you wouldn't think they would be particularly good at this but it turns out they were fairly savvy. the biggest one was a sweeping privacy ruling saying the police have to get a warrant before they search the cell phones of anyone they arrest. and some 12 million people a year are arrested and these searches are routine. so that's a big push back from a court that's not often sympathetic to arrested people and criminal defendants but they seem to think that the digital age is different and we need different fourth amendment rules in the era of big data. >> rose: it was a 9-0 decision. >> 9-0, yes. i got to say i didn't see this coming. that the year of the supreme court unanimity for the first time in decade. they're unanimous more than half the time and on a controversial case like this it's not what a lot of people that was coming. >> rose: why did the court go there. >> there seems to be a
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sensitivity and this is the second time they've done this. a couple years ago they also went 9-0 to say the police can't put a gps on your car and track your movements for a month. they seemed to have come to the understand that there's something different about the digital age, about the amount of data the government can collect and sift about private citizens. and they're just pushing back. in this sense this is a real provie see court. >> rose: roberts wrote the majority opinion. not a majority -- >> yes. and he's a very colorful writer, and he made clear that he understands that smart phones are barely phones they're minutely computers that have affiliations and for the police to search your cell phone does not allow them. >> rose: they could easily be called cameras, video players,
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rolodexs, tape records, libraries, maps, newspapers, all of that which is a real profile of who they belong to. >> that's right. and that language, the music of this decision suggests to me that it's not limited to people who are arrested. this is going to inform lower courts as they think about computer searches of all kinds, tablets, lap dots, the home computers. the court has put down a marker that digital information, the vast amounts of digal information is different in kind for the fourth amendment. >> rose: so how will this affect law enforcement? >> the chief justice very candidly says this will exact a cost. it will make it harder to solve some crimes. but he says if you weigh that interest against personal privacy, privacy wins. but he acknowledges that privacy has a cost. >> rose: now let's talk about the ariel case.
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surprising or not. 6-3. >> most people thought area was likely to lose. motion people thought, the justices thought that their survest was too clever by half. what ariel does is put little miniature antennas in brooklyn and other places in other cities, and assign you your own antenna and streams over the internet live broadcast television. and six justices said that's not going to work. that is basically theft. that's not acceptsable under the copyright laws. the three dissenting justices didn't really disagree for the most part. they found this practice distasteful but they said the law as written contains this loophole. just as you can put up your rabbit ears on your tv and watch live television, there's nothing different really of patting up a miniature antenna miles away and watching live tv on your ipad. >> rose: i read a press
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segment today by ariel which said they think this will have a chilling effect on innovation. >> there's probably some truth in that. and the court tried to write the decision very narrowly so it wouldn't affect other cloud computing services. but this particular thing is too much for them to swallow, and the broadcast industry really thought they would be in deep deep trouble if materials, copyrighted materials that they get paid large fees for by cable and satellite companies are available free to people. it could really cause that cable package that enormous $160 or whatever it is bill we get to come unbundled which would terrify broadcasters. >> rose: this is a decision that will kill a business. ariel wail have to go out of business, will it not. >> i think that's the very likely outcome. they haven't exactly thrown up the white flag and there's a little bit of a suggestion that live streaming is different from stored streaming that you later can look at. but i think the short of it is
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that ariel's days are numbered. >> rose: so sum up the supreme court so far as you have watched it this year. >> so the court is still divided on campaign finance, on religion, on race. but this is really been a term in which the nine justices have come together and as abled lawyers as they are, found common ground and in many cases, issued 9-0 decisions which is not the story we in the press usually tell about the court. but it is the story this year. >> rose: and does that say something about the leadership of john roberts. >> it can't help but say that. but bear in mind he only gets one vote. he does have the power to assign the majority opinion but that's his only special power. i think it may have something to do with the fact that they've lived together for four years. they know each other a little bit better. they get to choose their own cases. they had two huge terms one over healthcare, one over same sex marriage.
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this currents term not as big. so in lower profile cases, i think they get together and try to work together. >> rose: adam thank you for joining us. >> great to be here. >> rose: great to see you. back in a moment. stay with us. >> rose: larry tribe is here and we're happy about that. he has taught constitutional law at harvard law school for more than four decades. he's also a wise present supreme court having argued dozens of cases before the justices, including bush versus gore. his new book written with joshua matt is called uncertain justice, the robert's court and the constitution. former solicitor ted olson writes, anyone who aspires to understand how and in what ways the court is influencing our ways and our laws will want to read this superb and even handed book. i'm pleased to have larry tribe back at this table. welcome. >> pleased to be here charlie. >> rose: he had olson, that's a very nice praise. >> he's even handed and fair
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guy. >> rose: why write about the roberts court at this stage. john roberts is going to be there we believe for a long time. >> well because even the court is young and he's only been there basically for nine years, it's already achieved enormous faith and you can begin to see not in the standard divisions of 5-4 but in some of the under current, some important trends in the court about privacy, about race, about gender, about sexual orientation, about the way we lead our lives. and i thought it was time to make those things more understandable for a general audience, not just for specialists. and to get beyond the kind of simplified stereotypes of right versus left because that's not where it's really at. >> rose: it's all these labels we tend to put. >> right. journalists are busy, people on their own lives. they're beginning to realize more than before the court's decision affects their lives and they want some easy answer.
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what i try to show in this book is although the answers are interesting, they're not easy. hl minkin said every complicated problem is an easy answer and it's usually wrong. and in fact the answer that these justices are just politicians in robes is just wrong. they have serious philosophies, their philosophies are not just of umpires calling balls and strikes as the chief justice said but they're not philosophies about how can i make my political party stronger than the other guy's political party. >> rose: let's go through the thing where there's clear trends. privacy. >> with privacy the impact of looking at new technology. the justices including sotomayor and scalia somebody who is thought as a liberal and somebody is thought as a conservative there's new threats to privacy.
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they have different approaches to those threats and interesting breyer is to the right of scalia on those approaches. therefore the trend is simply one of grappling with new problems. the court does not a left/right commitment on privacy. >> rose: can you look at the court and predict how they might come down on a case. >> when i study the case closely the way i did the obamacare case, i was out there saying before the decision that the chief justice would cast a decisive vote based on the taxing power and that was right. i don't claim to be unique. but the point is i don't say that i have a crystal ball but i do think that the issues we need to study are issues that are beneath the surface. they're not issues that can be easily captured by labels like originalists or living constitutionists, activists, non-activists. they're deeper than that. >> rose: okay. and they are what? they are understanding the deeply thought well studied philosophy of the individual judge. >> that's right. there are nine series people there.
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each of them has a life experience and philosophy about the role of the states versus the federal government, about the power of the government to coerce individuals and to bribe them. there are a lot of issues that haven't been surfaced yet that are important in the supreme court's decision. >> rose: and they are ernest g to find out the answers and take their role enormously serious. >> yes. they are often really kind of testing their views against one another. they often use the lawyers simply as you know target practice. they use the lawyers to bounce their ideas off because they don't have nearly as much dialogue within the court as some people might wish. but i think in preparation for each case, i think every justice including justice thomas' sort of sphinx like and silence studies the case deeply and thinks bit deeply. he takes something like affirmative action where you couldn't have two more different views than that of thomas and that of sotomayor. they are both views that when
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you read the opinions, including sotomayor's powerful dissent in the recent case from michigan, and when you look at the opinions that clarence thomas has written, they are views to grow out of personal experience. they both have said, the affirmative action made a huge difference in their lives. but it was a different difference. for thomas he said it proved to me that you shouldn't look to people to give you favors because of your race. because then you will never know whether you really belong. everyone will doubt your achievements. sotomayor has said i don't doubt my awe -achievements and i can prove myself how i got here without a leg up. that's what's really involved. it's not the meaning of a color blind constitution. >> rose: race is one of the things which you said you can get a sense of the trend of the court. >> the court is clearly moving toward the view that we have gotten the racial problems largely behind us. i think that's a mistake but
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when they decide a case like shelby county saying there's been a lot of progress, we no longer need to have the preclearance procedures in the justice department. i think justice ginsberg said it best in her dissent when she said that's like saying we stayed dry in storm so we might as well give the umbrella away. it's not a very rational response but i don't think it helps to just pile on. a lot of liberals look at a decision like shelby county and just get a lot of you know joy out of castigating the court and saying it's blind. what good does that do. they've got the votes. what we need to do is understand what is driving them. what are the possible levers, what are the motivations of the justices. sometimes the answer will be there's nothing we can do short of an eventual change in traditional personnel and that will depend on a lot of things beyond theory, it will depend on who wins the next presidential election, it will depend on who
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controls the senate when we have another opening on the supreme court. but we might as well understand realistically rather than disagree with it rather than praise the court when we agree witness. there are points of view to merit expression and most of the arguments about these things are there is no right answer. the country is divided about a lot of these issues, like reproductive rights, like race. because they are tough issues. they are competing values. >> rose: is reproduction rights a case where you can see a clear trend. >> i think the court is ready to cut back further on roe v. wade not ready to overrule it. we'll see little more when we see the case involving the 35 foot buffer zone around abortion clinics in massachusetts. that's a case where there are values of free speech on one side and reproductive rights on the other. i think the court though it
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reaffirmed roe v. wade in 1992 is probably ready to give a little bit more leeway to those who believe that the unborn have rights of their own. not certain and the court hasn't taken a serious look at the abortion problem for a number of years. but that's my sense of where the justices are. >> rose: on gender issues? >> on gender issues, too, the court has been quite silent partly because it hasn't had new opportunities. when it interprets statutes like the interpretation that made it harder for women to sue unless they sue quickly when they first discover any sign of discrimination, congress has come back and corrected it in the lily ledbetter act. most of what it's done on gender in recent years has been in terms of statutory interpretation. it's pretty much established that lines drawn along gender are lines that e probably unconstitutional. sexual orientation is an area where there's also a clear
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trend. justice kennedy is leading the charge and i think that having struck down the defense of marriage act, the court is probably ready in one of these cases from the lower courts to take the next step and say that states cannot give second class citizenship to same sex couples. >> rose: so in other words those people who argue states rights the courts will say no it's not. >> states have an important role to play. states rights are important but states rights never completely trump individual human rights and dignity, liberty, equality that in the end when push comes to shove, a guy like kennedy said that the whole point of states rights is to protect liberty, to make government closer to the people so that they can take a participatory role in government. i don't think the tail will wag the dog and say states rights trump personal rights. >> rose: whose been the motion influential thinker including justices on you and the way you see the law?
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>> a great question. i would say probably justice brennan some years ago. i mean his architectural sense of how the law fits together has influenced me a lot. for example he and justice o'connor dissented when the supreme court said that states that don't raise their drinking age to 21 will lose 5% of their highway funds. now you don't think of brennan as a states rights advocate normally. but like o'connor, he realized that when the government has the power to use items enormous fiscal leverage, not just to tell states and individuals how to spend items money, but how to spend their own money, how to make their own policies that we are putting rights on the auction block. three a chapter in here called rights for sale that talks about, are sort of talks about the limit on governments power
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not just to coerce people but to bribe them in effect, giving up their rights and i think brennan saw that that's a seamless, a seamless web that you can't give government the power to manipulate and bribe0limit in rs rights without losing a lot of principles and individual rights. >> rose: these are my curiosity questions. who among all the justices and all the opinions was the most brilliant writer? >> jackson, without any question. robert jackson. >> rose: really. >> i think he was clearly the most brilliant writer. i suppose you could say john marshall but it's an earlier style and hard to appreciate. 18th century, early 19th century writing. but robert jackson was extraordinary. when he said that compulsory unanimity produces only the unanimity of the graveyard, he said in a few words what few
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have been able to say in entire books. >> rose: would we be better off, there's a similarity to the supreme court in terms of their education, ivy league. >> all nine went to harvard or yale. >> rose: yes, exactly. >> i don't have anything against harvard or yale but god that's crazy. >> rose: that's my point. >> right. >> rose: you don't have to be a lawyer to be on the supreme court. >> no, that's right. the only job where you have to be a lawyer is solicitor general. >> rose: exactly. at the same time to be a judge like eleanor kagan. >> right. you look at the court that decided brown v board, there were no prior judges there. it was all governors, attorneys generals, former senators, former douglas, former head of the scc. >> rose: it was a great court. >> it was a great court. when o'connor was on the court the fact she had been a state court judge and a state
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legislator brought something to the court. the whole composition of the court changed dramatically to suddenly don't have anyone there who has the experience of politics. >> rose: here's an interesting idea. let's assume that hillary clinton decides to run for president and let's assume she is elected. might she consider barack obama as a possible supreme court nominee. >> there have been of course presidents who bill chief justice. >> rose: howard taft. >> yes, taft. i guessy the only one. it's not inconceivable. he would make quite a great judge. >> rose: you're -- your student. >> yes, i'm biased everything he was my student and research assistant. what it takes to be president is a little different than what it takes to be a great judge. >> rose: -- as president. you've thought about that.
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>> i think he might be a better judge. but it's a little too early to say how good a president he's been. there are things i wish he would have done differently but he does have major accomplishment. >> rose: he does have the question to see all sides. >> that's right. >> rose: it's an admirable point as well. >> it's admirable but it's important that you -- >> rose: and you have a principle that in a sense that you have studied. when you look at the court today and the decisions it faces, what are the great issues that have not come to the court but will come to the court. >> i think issues about bioengineering and meaning of person hood not only at what point does the fetus become a person but is a chimpanzee a person, artificial -- >> rose: does the court decide that. >> not initially. you need a lot of fermentation, you need legislatures to weigh in but as lincoln said we can't be a country half free and half slave.
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we can't have person meaning one thing and miss another thing in california or new york. so eventually the basic concepts of what are human beings, what are the rights of persons has to be decided in a way that although it can be changed by amendment, i think has to be decided by the supreme court. >> rose: is there a justice who you disagree with philosophically but when you read his opinions or her opinions and you say damn. >> scalia. i love scalia's opinions. they really capture the opinions to a point even when i disagree with him. there are great writers, i think alito and sotomayor is remarkable and kagan is remarkable. but the clarity of roberts. >> rose: clarity. >> they are so lucid that could
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be understood by normal human beings which matters. the constitution and interpretation of the constitution is not a matter for just experts. i think this is a matter for national discussion, for national conversation and i think we understatement the intelligence of the american people if we assume you have to talk legalese and jargon all the time. that's why i really like the simplicity of the roberts opinions. they come right to the point. they're concise. >> rose: clear and precise. >> yes. >> rose: i should mention who is joshua mast. he's a former student of yours. >> he was a former student and he was my chief teaching fellow in an undergraduate course at harvard. he will be clerking for justice kennedy in july and is clerking for justice reinhart. he's got a great future. he deserves a lot of credit for helping me right this. >> rose: what do you, how do
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you think you're shaping the minds of these young lawyers. >> if i knew that charlie, i might go into psychology or some other field. i don't know. i mean i think -- >> rose: how are they different between when they come in and when they leave. >> i think they see more sides of every issue. i think they recognize by the time we're done that things are not advanced by just planting your feet in the sand and sticking to a position. but the best way to understand something is to put yourself in someone else's mind so that when i talk about gun rights in the chapter on guns in this book, i don't demonize the rifle association. when carlton hesston first learned as head of the nra that
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people do have rights he called me up and meet me on my plane since we're on the same side. whoa, you don't understand i still think you can regulate guns. that was the end of that. i admire planet of the apes a lot. that ended that conversation. what i think i teach my students and what most of them years and decades later tell me is i've shown that there's more there than initially meets the eye. and that if you really think hard about what makes the other guy tick and why people have these views that you think are wrong, you will both be more effective as an advocate and have a deeper wisdom. >> rose: i think it's that and the other thing is simply the idea of how to think. you know. some sense that you come out of the experience of a regular law school education because i have nothing to do with the law but i did have a law school education. it is a way to think about
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issues and that's an important thing that you can carry for the rest of your life. you have to think about this. >> people talk about learning to think like a lawyer. lawyers think about lots of different way. >> rose: just learning to think, period. i'm talking about a wise human being. >> philosophy can help you, so can history and mathematics. >> rose: you shouldn't get a legal education unless you want to be a lawyer. >> no, i think a legal education can help but it's not the only path. >> rose: are you worried about citizens united and kutchen. >> to think you can remove them from the landscape by a constitutional amendment fooling themselves. to fix it requires something much more radical than anybody's considered.
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simply handing the power to the people that you think are bought and paid for under the present system and saying you design the system of campaigns and regulation and we'll just rubber stamp it doesn't make a lot of sense. that is the problems are very deep, very systemic. and i am worried about how influential money is in politics but i think given state of first amendment and citizens united and mckutchen were rightly decided. >> rose: rightly decided. >> that shocks my friend. >> rose: money is speech. >> it's not that money is speech but that it takes a lot of money to amplify the speech. these people were publishing an anti-hillary clinton movie. it could be an anti-anybody movie but are we saying because a corporation is spending a lot of money on an influent movie or
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book for that matter because it's a corporation we can say no, we shut it off. that's a very dangerous power to give government. >> rose: where have you changed your opinions about big issues? anywhere. >> i guess i've come to think that affirmative action is a more complicated problem than i thought. i used to think that as long as you're basically helping minorities it's not a problem but what helps and what hurts is much more ambiguous. and what stigmatizes, i'm much more am buy let. i think affirmative action is where we have to go slow and be careful. >> rose: the danger is. >> we will perpetuate racial devices. >> rose: what did justice roberts say the way to end racial discrimination is to
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racial discrimination. >> it's a little simplistic a nice bumper sticker the way to end racial discrimination is to end racial discrimination. you8>> rose: two things i close with. one justice roberts writes about how he finds law professors all but useless. >> he has an example of bulgarian -- >> rose: pick up an article and the first article is influence of emanuel kant -- to the academic that wrote it but isn't much help to the bar. >> i think he may be right. when i look at the title of recent articles i think that people are getting pretty dispareto for saw tear cause. >> rose: maybe anything that happened never once but like
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ripples on water after the pebble sinks, moving on by umbilical water cord to the next pool which the first pool feeds. >> there is a kind of ripple effect, reverberations. the supreme court changes the world, the world changes the court. we can't really treat these things as though they were stable and fixed for all times even if they are originalists. >> rose: it's great to see you. >> great to see you charlie. >> rose: thank you. larry tribe and joshua matt. the book is called uncertain justice, the roberts court and the constitution. >> rose: shep gordon is a man you probably never heard of but he's one of hollywood's insiders for 45 years. he's managerred the careers of music artists such as alice cooper and the laid teddy pender grass. he's the subject of a new
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documentary by the actor and comedian mike meyers, it is called supermensch the legend shep gordon. here's the trailer. >> i drove to los angeles near the hollywood landmark. the girl called me over and said she was janis joplin. she introduced me to jimmy hendrix and jimmy hendrix says are you jewish. i said yes. he said you should be a manager. i said no problem, who should i manage. alice cooper. the word mensch -- >> if somebody asked me who invented the celebrity shep shep gordon. >> shep is the quintessential manager. he wrote the book and everybody else is reading from it. >> the most important thing the manager does. get the money. always remember to get the money. never forget and always remember to get the money.
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>> something new that nobody's ever seen before and let's stick with it. >> we tried to do as many outrageous things as we could. >> no matter what, you're the navigator through the rough passage. >> there's nothing about fame that i've ever seen that's healthy. the ones who rose to the top got hurt the worst. >> the culture what you are not who you are. >> i had spent my life living other people's lives and i wanted to see what my life was. >> i never really developed a family. growing up i never had a friend over. i'm more than making up for it. >> shep gordon is the nicest person i he ever met hands down. >> what's important for me is to do compassionate business, using coupons, doing something to you that they didn't have to do. there aren't winners and loser,
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there's only winners and the journey begins. >> he's for everybody that means anything. they all end up in shep's kitchen. >> loving everything. it's never about what you want. >> he tells the best story. >> i have told shep things i haven't told anybody else. not even my wife. >> rose: joining me now is mike meyers the director of shep gordon the subject of the movie. >> thank you. >> thank you for having us. >> rose: how long have you known him. >> 20 odd. >> 22, 23 years. >> 23 years, yes. >> rose: how long have you been trying to get him? to allow you make a movie about him. >> 20 years. very shortly after meeting him i said shep i would like to do a movie about you and he's like no, i really don't want, no thank you, no thanks. a few years ago he said yes. >> rose: so we saw los angeles, you were an agent for
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alice cooper and teddy pendergrass and all those people. you leave and go to hawaii you're still in the united >> for me i was heading towards a crash. it was just too much of everything. and what's it's all about. >> rose: why haven't you written a book about all this. you ask this of all people who represented a lot of stars because they could tell stories. >> for the same reason i said no to mike for many years. fame is something that i think is a very dangerous thing and it's something that's necessary if you're a creative artist but it's, mike tells it better than i do. >> if you're a creative person and many ways, you know fame is the industrial disease of creativity and it's you know what shep has done he's been the hazmat for so many people for so many years. >> i just didn't want to flirt
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with it. >> rose: you went and bought a big house. >> i went to hawaii which i fell in love with, bought a house. >> rose: do you surf. >> body surf. >> rose: most of your clients. >> later on i did. i kept them in hawaii. >> rose: alice. >> i always kept that. alice is a body part. i've known him for 45 years. >> rose: he's an interesting guy. >> fascinating. one of the most fascinating people i ever met in any life. >> rose: because he can tell stories or what. >> two things. he's interesting, interested. he is in many ways forrest gump. >> rose: been there. >> -- and mr. mcgoo if they had a baby. when i first met him he came in he was wearing, he had ay tail on his suiten tour jacket. i had never been on a movie set and laurence said you have to
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talk to shep gordon, alice cooper's manager, there's a problem. and alice cooper was in wayne's world. i said oh, okay. i walked into new york town in paramount and i met him. i felt like a punk rocker. i was like who is this guy. and he said well, i know you want alice cooper and school's out in 18. he goes how about something from the new album. and i said how about no. how about. >> rose: the new album. that's all i want for my movie. >> my heart was broken and i'm like laurence, what do you want. he was so nice about it. he said you know, i read the script and alice is only on stage for eight seconds and if you put school's out in the end credits everyone's going to think that's the song so it doesn't really matter. and i thought yeah, he's right, you know. and he was so nice about it and so protected and loving of alice
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cooper and i worshipped alice cooper because he's really a fantastic that cality. he's between the hippie's and the punk. in fact he's saying 18 -- >> a jukebox. >> rose: aren't you responsible for the chicken. >> for the chicken on stage, yes. it was called the peace festival. >> rose: what year was it. >> maybe 75. >> no, 69. >> was it 69? , thank you. i don't remember things too well. are. >> someone slipped something in my drink once in a while. it was the psychedelic era. >> you don't remember dude, you were there. >> alice and were always looking to irritate people. that was the core of the career.
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that if we could irritate people and parents in particular, the kids would love us. >> rose: right. >> and we were on a peace festival and i got alice on right before john lennon and there was a chicken back stage and i said you know if i throw this chicken on stage something's going to happen that's going to be really horrible. >> rose: alice will do something. >> he'll do something, something will happen and he took it and he saw people that could fly he threw it in the audience and the audience just ripped it apart. they were so is angsted up. it's a peace festival so we ended up getting all the headlines. >> rose: you had to define alice. >> neo daddist masterpiece. what is going on. >> didn't know it was that easy. >> rose: so has he been easy to get to tell the stories?
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>> shep? yes and no. >> rose: did you have to pull stories out of him. >> there's days where shep is like quite loquacious and other days he's less loquacious. at first he didn't kind of trust, he's like why are you making movies out of me. people showed up like silvestre stalone and michael douglas and these people told stories, this is what they said and blah blah blah and it just took off. >> rose: that's what precipitated it. but did people in hollywood say mike meyers wants to make a documentary. >> no. i just made it. i have a very odd career. i just make things. i never really had a career plan. i have these other projects i was working on but shep said yes, so that became -- >> as your manager the first thing i'll tell you is do not do the documentary. >> it's an art form.
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>> rose: to you. >> he won't do the documentary. >> i had to do it. i was happy, it was a fantastic experiment. >> rose: why. >> in tronnity, i didn't know, i finance -- >> rose: why did you make the movie, did you think it was a fun thing for you to do for a while. >> i just had a kid, a two and-a-half year old. right around the time i had my first kid i love new york city and i hated leaving new york city. shep said yes. i thought i was going to be concavesiti when i was a kid. i thought i was going to create the cinematic movement but i got hired for second city. i was going to beejim germush, e combined. i ended up on saturday night live which was fantastic. i wanted to do it but i didn't
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know it was necessarily going happen. so for me it' just been, the audience has been like in toronto it was just fantastic standing ovation, people crying, people laughing. i've seen the movie with a house more than any movies i've been involved with. >> rose: and the audience loved it. >> it's a fantastically wonderful satisfying experience and that's -- >> rose: you're glad you did it. >> at first i was a little embarrassed. supermensch, the legend of shep gordon. it's way out side my wheel house. but i respect mike and i love the piece he made and i went to toronto really thinking this is the last time i have to go see it and i'm going to comment. when the movie played, the response from the people touched them so deeply. people were giving me gifts, people asking me where they
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could adopt children. the questions and answers were unbelievable. >> rose: where you could adopt children. >> i saw the way mike instructed it, it really touched people in place i don'toutouched. they really want to be better people. >> rose: modestly, how did you change the music industry? >> that's a big question. and i think in the very small way, theatrics into the music world. when i started with alice, the contemporary music world was a couple amplifiers, a few lights people telling stories, singing songs. i think with alice, we showed that you could tell a story, you could create an environment, you could build things and carry equipment and really set a stage and set a mood. and i think you see it now all
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the way through. and also i think bay being bold enough to call a man alice and wear eye make up, really changed a lot of the attitude for a lot of people. when you see lady gaga, you can see a thread. when you see the six pistol you see a thread, when you see a motly cru you see a thread. there's a thread of color for everyone. >> rose: tell me about the time you came up and thought somebody was -- >> i went out to california, i was a probation officer. i was a recovering hippie, and got beat up the first day at my job. i didn't work well, it was the reagan air era in california and i was a long hair. none of it worked in the probation department. >> not only that, he said he wawnltsd to work with the criminals and say hey let's just have a softball game and huck it out. all the other guards were like
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yes that's fantastic. so shep with his own money bought baseball equipment and they left on queue. the criminals picked up the baseball bats and beat the crap out of shep with an inch of his life and that's when he went. >> i drove into l.a., checked into the motel that had a vacancy sign. fixed some psychedelics. heard a girl screaming. i had just come from jail. i ran out to separate them. the girl punched me. i went up to my room feeling like a jerk because they were making love, they weren't fighting. >> rose: you didn't know that. >> i didn't know. i knew it after she punched it. she made it very clear. >> rose: what are you doing. >> went down to the pool in the morning and it was janis joplin. >> rose: and. >> jimmy hendrix and the chambers brothers and i think jim morrison was there that day. >> jim morrison. >> yes. this was the place where everybody hung out. >> rose: you just happened to select the mow at -- motel that
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everybody hung out. >> that's the mr. mcgoo narc. >> rose: what's the memsch factor. >> there's a way to make a nice living in this business and still be a human, you know. it's a fantastic business i'm so grateful, it doesn't often attract the healthy happiest in our society and doesn't foster things like people yes or no being no or boundaries. here i saw in shep an ethical heedenonnist. the first time you hear the
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beatles, it's evidence, the first time you see salvador dally stuff, kurvonnegut. the hollywood system and all that stuff, they make fantastic movies, envy of the world, you know. you know. if rome ruled the world with the phalanx and the broad sword, when things are tough is when it's fresh. it requires people like shep to protect it. for this i've got kids now and i'm at a certain age in my career, i just wanted that message. i just wanted to say thank you to the protectors do you know what i mean. because that's a huge huge
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thing. it's like jeff recatsberg, and harvey weinstein is a fantastic protector. these people need the love. >> rose: where is your lynch going now, back to hawaii. >> you never know. >> rose: you're open to possibilities. >> i wake up in the morning, go to sleep at night and see what happens in the middle. >> rose: what's it's like for you in hawaii. >> it's beautiful. it's some family and a lot of cooking and a lot of walking and a lot of pitching myself saying how did i get this lucky, i can't believe i'm here. >> rose: how did you do the celebrity chef thing. >> when i was a young man i won the festival, ridley scott's first movie. i got taken to my first restaurant. in the restaurant was the who's who of hollywood. but nobody was that particularly comfortable in their skin.
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it was still a lot of smoking in those days. you could smoke in restaurants. a lot of knees jumping up and down, a lot of smoking looking around to see who is in there. and then i started thinking wow i'm becoming one of them. and i had my cigarette in my mouth and my knee was sort of going and oh my god. and into the room walked this beautifully calm like a beautiful sunset or something, white cooking jacket, white hair. and everything in the room stopped and you could see he was the power guy. >> rose: he was the chef. >> and he was the chef. i went over to him and asked him if i could be his grasshopper, in the kung fu series which was a big influence on my life. there was the character the grasshopper and the matters speaks. he didn't know what i was talking about. he thought i was sitting with
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pablo picasso who had died a few years before. >> rose: you made it all up. >> my favorite documentary efforts for faith. >> one of my favorite moments in the documentary is mike, when i say i was with pablo me cause so he stops the film and says not true, chef was very high. >> and he allowed me to be his grasshopper. >> in many ways chef is my berger because when i met him on paper i should not like this person as a punk rocker. but he has that same quality. so he followed bergere. >> rose: one last trip.
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this is shep telling a story about his cat and cary grant. >> to make some money i bought several houses. one homes had a miniature train that went from the house to the pool. at one point i bought alice's house at the canyon and used to get people ringing the door well. i realize alice's house has been put on the star map and i put a sign saying alice doesn't live here anymore go get your money back. i had a cat who one day went missing and someone told me it went to cary grant's house. through the door i could see him mr. grant and i said that's my cat and barbara grant said you can't table the cat it's brought car yavment back to life so me and cary agree on joint custody of the cat. >> rose: that's the story. >> that's true.
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>> a small nuance for the story. i first put up signs on a telephone pole and i got a call from intun saying he was cary grant's housekeeper and he haunted the cat. i was out of town and i said i'll come back tomorrow and pick up the cat. i called three days four days nobody answered my calls. so i went down to the house, i rang the door well. the door opens just like in the film but on the floor is cary grant on a fur carpet, a sterling silver little bowl, the sensitive one there and the sensitive one lookqthe door andw this for me. i could just hear him talking. >> rose: thank you. good to have you here. >> thank you. >> thank you so much. >> rose: supermensch the legend of shep gordon is out in limited release. thank you for joining us. see you next time.
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captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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>> hi. i'm rick steves. today we're heading off on a very special adventure, traveling to three of the most exciting cities in europe: florence, rome, and venice. italy's my favorite country. these are my favorite italian cities, and you're about to see why. i'll be with you during each intermission sharing special tips on traveling smartly as together we celebrate the value of public broadcasting right here in our communities. if you've got any friends bitten by that travel bug, give them a call or text them right now, because we've got a wonderful itinerary planned for you. in the next two hours, we'll share not only the marquee attractions of these great cities, but we'll get to know the back lanes, the edible delights, and the locals, so proud of their heritage. now raise your travel dreams to their upright and locked positions, because together, we're heading for italy's cities of dreams. our first stop: florence-- birthplace of the renaissance. [lively music]

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